In a game that was more one-sided than the score line suggests, Mitchells Plain United started their season on a high with a 1-nil victory over Old Mutual at the Santos Academy. The MPU strikers clearly left their scoring boots at home with 21 shots at goal compared to the 3 mustered up by Old Mutual.
The first half started quietly before MPU began to dominate play after a goalbound attempt was miraculously saved off the line. John Oersen made a strong run down the left before crossing only for Darren Omaticus's header to be cleared off the line in the 17th minute.
Two minutes later, MPU's defender Karriem Sedan shot wide from inside the box before MPU suffered an injury scare when a clash with the goalkeeper left striker, Orlin Powell, winded.
The knock may not have done physical harm, but may have affected the campaigner mentally, struggling to keep his composure and missing three chances in the space of five minutes. The first chance - possibly the easiest to slot home - saw Orlin shooting wide from a one-on-one situation, after doing brilliantly to rob the centre back caught in possession. The next came his way courtesy of a sublime ball played in from right wing. Suhayl Allie, finding Powell in the six yard box but managing to stroke the ball wide yet again.
While both teams went into the Half Time break with nothing to show, MPU's management were rightly shaking their heads since all 11 goal attempts in the first half were registered by their team.
The second half came to life in the 55th minute when Darren Omaticus made the Old Mutual keeper dive full length to save his goal attempt. Three minutes later however an Old Mutual counter attack nearly resulted in them taking the lead when a goal-bound shot was blocked by JP Faruggia. This move spurred Old Mutual on, allowing them to hold the reigns for the next ten minutes.
John Nel had a good opportunity to give MPU the lead in the 65th minute, but scuffed his shot and hooked it wide of the Mutual upright. Seven minutes later he nearly spoiled his flawless performance when he was caught in possession inside the box only for the opposition striker to blaze his shot skywards.
On the back-foot, this prompted Coach Harrison to try and change the game from the sidelines, substituting Keagon Galantin for Orlin Powell. Contining this campaign as he ended his last, he once again showed his knack for being in the right place at the right time, scoring the only goal of the game with a well placed shot in the 76th minute.
With Old Mutual pressing for the equaliser, MPU created a few more chances with Darren Omaticus shooting just wide after a good counter attack and Tasleem Paulse firing a free kick wide. The final whistle finally signaled the end of the game and gave Mark Harrison a victory in his first professional game in charge of MPU. With the goal scoring attempts in his teams favour by 21-3, he must be hoping that his strikers find their scoring form soon. With 3 points in the bag and a good passing display however, there are alot more positives than negatives to take into the next round of the Vodacom league.